“There’s no doubt about it,” said Mike Wakefield. “Even if the teenager is a great kid, it’s still absolutely terrifying to think about all the new skills a parent has to develop to navigate through those years.”
Wakefield leads the team that produces Parenting Teens, a relaunch of Lifeway’s popular Living with Teenagers magazine. The redesign of the magazine has been developed specifically to answer questions, offer advice and provide resource information to help parents be the primary spiritual developers in their families.
“I believe most Christian parents want to be the ones who teach and lead their teenagers; they just don’t know how,” he said.
“When we were redesigning this magazine, we looked at tons of other parenting publications,” he said. “We wanted this one to be different. We asked ourselves, ‘what can we do that would make a parent want to pick up this magazine instead of some of these others?’ What we discovered is that we (LifeWay) are the only ones who look at parenting teens from a Christian perspective. So, when we went to redesign the magazine, we really wanted to highlight that difference. We also wanted to help parents develop their own Christian walk, as well as offer practical advice. I think we have done that.”
Parenting Teens will be divided into three sections: “Know, Grow, Become.”
“We want to help parents know their teens, so we will give lots of information about teen culture and issues related specifically to adolescence,” Wakefield said. “We want them to grow as parents, which is the section where we focus on parenting skills and issues. And, we want to help them become more Christlike, so we’ve added a section specifically for a parent’s spiritual growth as an individual.”
Each issue of the monthly magazine will feature a “Voice of a Teen” column. A teen will write this column and address some struggle, such as the struggle to be perfect: perfect grades, perfect body, perfect talents, etc.
“On the perfection topic, we want the parents to understand their own attempt at perfection – and, yes, parents do that too – may be having a negative influence on their teens,” Wakefield said. “Hearing it straight from the teen will have an impact.”
While Parenting Teens will be available as an individual subscription, Wakefield said there is the option of bundling Parenting Teens with ec magazine, a monthly magazine for teens that offers challenging daily devotions and relevant feature articles designed to help students understand that their relationship with Christ should affect every part of their lives.
“Bundling these two magazines together can be a great benefit for the whole family,” Wakefield said. “The magazines will be aligned thematically to help each one build on the other. The articles won’t be the same, of course, but they will encourage discussion between parents and teens about what they’ve read.”
Parents who choose a bundle option will receive a 15-percent discount on the pair of magazines.
Good value for churches
Parenting Teens will offer four Bible study outlines in each issue of the magazine – for churches that have Sunday school or small groups for parents of teenagers.
“What youth minister doesn’t want to be a hero for the parents of his or her students?” Wakefield asked. “With this resource, he or she can provide a way for parents of youth to be discipled throughout the week. In this way, Parenting Teens is so much more that just a leisure reading or advice magazine.
“We want parents who have issues with their teens to know they are not alone, insane or bad parents,” Wakefield said with a laugh. “Parenting teens can be tough. We want to offer tools to make it a little easier.”
By Polly House, Communications Department